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Greece Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage and Adoption in Landmark Vote

Athens, Greece (15th February 2024) - Cheers and protests erupted in Greece today as the parliament voted 176-76 to legalise same-sex marriage and adoption, marking a watershed moment for the socially conservative country.

Following two days of heated debates and weeks of public outcry, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ legislation overcame opposition from within his party and the influential Orthodox Church to gain approval. With this victory, Greece joined the 35 other countries that have legalised same-sex marriage.

Greece made history as the first Orthodox country to legalise same-sex marriage, joining 16 other EU countries that recognise same-sex marriage. The historic decision represents a major shift in the country's leadership, and in 2015 it expanded its social partnership to include women, establishing a foundation. Men have sex. Although the first law provided some recognition, it did not ensure equality of parental rights, which was still contested at home. However, this latest development represents a major step towards ensuring equal rights and protection for LGBTQIA+ individuals in Greece.

Celebrations broke out on the streets of Athens as supporters received their long-awaited recognition of their rights. Meanwhile, protesters, most of them church members, protested by holding meetings, displaying religious symbols and reciting prayers.

"People who have been invisible will finally be made visible around us," claimed Prime Minister Mitsotakis prior to the voting. "This reform will make the life of some of our fellow citizens that much better without taking away anything from the lives of the many."

This landmark ruling grants same-sex couples in Greece the legal right to marry and adopt children while also providing them with equal legal rights and protections. While the action represents significant progress for LGBTQIA+ rights in the country, questions and debates about social acceptance and religious perspectives will likely continue.

While celebrations over the same-sex marriage bill dominated, the vote was not without criticism. Notably, Antonis Samaras, a former prime minister and member of Mitsotakis's party, strongly opposed the legislation, calling it "dangerous" during parliamentary deliberations.

Despite the endorsement of Greece's first openly gay party leader, Stefanos Kasselakis, the biggest opposition party, Syriza, raised doubts. While they voted in favour of the bill, but felt it did not go far enough. Kasselakis, who himself hopes to become a parent through surrogacy with his partner, criticised the prolonged ban on such procedures for same-sex couples. This demonstrates the diverse spectrum of views and differing opinions on the legislation.

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